Imágenes de páginas

kind of abortive birth. I used to make it one good part of my amusement in reading the English poets, those of them I mean whose vein flows regularly and constantly, as well as clearly, to trace them to their sources; and observe what oar, as well as what slime and gra. vel they brought down with them. Dryden I observe borrows for want of leisure, and Pope for want of genius: Milton out of pride, and Addison out of modesty. And now I speak of this latter, that you and Mr. Theobald may see of what kind these idle collections are, and likewise to give you my notion of what we may safely pronounce an imitation, for it is not I presume the same train of ideas that follow in the same description of an ancient and a modern, where nature when attended to, always supplys the same stores, which will autorise us to pronounce the latter an imitation, for the most judicious of all poets, Terence, has observed of his own science Nihil est dictum, quod non sit dictum prius: For these reasons I say I give myselfe the pleasure of setting down some imitations I observed in the Cato of Addison : Addison. A day, an hour of virtuous liberty

Is worth a whole eternity in bondage., Act 2, Sc Tully. Quod si immortalitas consequeretur præsentis periculi fu

gam, tamen eo magis ea fugienda esse videretur, quodiu

turnior esset servitus. Philipp. Or. 10a Addison. Bid him disband his legions

Restore the commonwealth to liberty
Submit his actions to the publick censure,
And stand the judgement of a Roman senate,

Bid him do this and Cato is his friend.
Tully. Pacem vult? arma deponat, roget, deprecetur.

Neminem equiorem reperiet quam me. Philipp. 5a
Addison. But what is life?

'Tis not to stalk about and draw fresh air
From time to time-
'Tis to be free. When liberty is gone,

Life grows insipid and has lost its relish. Sc. 3.
Tully. Non enim in spiritu vita est: sed ea nulla est omnino ser-

vienti. Philipp. 10a
Addison. Remember O my friends the laws the rights

The gen'rous plan of power deliver'd down
From age to age by your renown'd forefathers.

O never let it perish in your hands. Act 3, Sc. 5.
Tully. Hanc [libertatem scilt] retinete, quæso, Quirites,

quam vobis, tanquam hereditatem, majores nostri reli

querunt. Philipp. 4a Addison. The mistress of the world, the seat of empire,

The nurse of Heros the Delight of Gods. Tully. Roma domus virtutis, imperii dignitatis, domicilium glo

riæ, lux orbis terrarum, de oratore. " The first half of the 5 Sc. 3 Act, is nothing but a transcript from the 9 book of lucan between the 300 and the 700 line. You see by this

specimen the exactness of Mr. Addison's judgment who wanting sentiments worthy the Roman Cato sought for them in Tully and Lucan. When he wou'd give his subject those terrible graces which Dion. Halicar: complains he could find no where but in Homer, he takes the assistance of our Shakspeare, who in his Julius Cæsar has painted the conspirators with a pomp and terrour that perfectly astonishes, hear our British Homer.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the Int'rim is
Like a phantasma or a hideous dream,
The genius and the mortal Instruments
Are then in council, and the state of Man
like to a little Kingdom, suffers then

The nature of an insurrection.
Mr. Addison has thus imitated it :

O think what anxious moments pass between
The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods
O'tis a dreadful interval of time,

Filled up with horror all, & big with death. I have two things to observe on this imitation. 1. the decorum this exact Mr. of propriety has observed. In the Conspiracy of Shakespear's description, the fortunes of Cæsar and the roman Empire were concerned. And the magnificent circumstances of

“ The genius and the mortal instruments

“ Are then in council.” is exactly proportioned to the dignity of the subject. But this wou'd have been too great an apparatus to the desertion of Syphax and the rape of Sempronius, and therefore Mr. Addison omits it. II. The other thing more worthy our notice is, that Mr. A. was so greatly moved and affected with the pomp of Sh:s description, that insteado copying his author's sentiments, he has before he was aware given us only the marks of his own impressions on the reading him. For,

"O'tis a dreadful interval of time

“ Filled up with horror all, and big with death." are but the affections raised by such lively images as these

all the Int’rim is
“ Like a phantasma or a hideous dream.

“ The state of man-like to a little kingdom suffers then

" The nature of an insurrection.” Again when Mr. Addison would paint the softer passions he has recourse to Lee who certainly had a peculiar genius that way. thus his Juba

" True she is fair. O how divinely fair !" coldly imitates Lee in his Alex:

“ Then he wou'd talk: Good Gods how he would talk! I pronounce the more boldly of this, because Mr. A. in his 39 Spec. expresses his admiration of it. My paper fails me, or I should now offer to Mr. Theobald an objection agt. Shakspeare's acquaintance with the ancients. As it appears to me of great weight, and as it is necessary he shou'd be prepared to obviate all that occur on that head. But some other opportunity will present itselfe. You may now, Sr, justly complain of my ill manners in deferring till now, what shou'd have been first of all acknowledged due to you, which is my thanks for all your favours when in town, particularly for introducing me to the knowledge of those worthy and ingenious Gentlemen that made up our last night's conversation. I am, Sir, with all esteem your most obliged friend and humble servant

W. Warburton. Newarke Jan. 2. 1726

[The superscription is thus:] For

Mr. M. Concanen at
Mr. Woodwards at the
half moon in ffleetstrete


The foregoing Letter was found about the year 1750, by Dr. Gawin Knight, first librarian to the British Museum, in fitting up a house which he had taken in Crane Court, Fleet Street. The house had, for a long time before, been let in lodgings, and in all probability, Concanen had lodged there. The original letter has been many years in my possession, and is here most exactly copied, with its several little peculiarities in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. April 30, 1766. M. A.

The above is copied from an indorsement of Dr. Mark Akenside as is the preceding letter from a copy given by him to Mr. Steevens. I have carefully retained all the peculiarities above mentioned.

Malone. Dr. Joseph Warton, in a note on Pope's Dunciad, Book II, observes, that at the time when Concanen published a pamphlet enti. tled, A Supplement to the Profund, (1728) he was intimately acquainted with Dr. Warburton. Steevens.


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